Kerala gold smuggling case: Legislators bring resolution against House Speaker
- Kerala speaker P Sreeramakrishnan’s name cropped up in connection with the gold smuggling case but the speaker has denied any involvement with the case.
Kerala Assembly on Thursday took up a notice brought on by opposition legislators against Kerala Assembly Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan seeking his removal from the post alleging that he was involved in the gold smuggling case.
Kerala speaker P Sreeramakrishnan’s name cropped up in connection with the gold smuggling case but the speaker has denied any involvement with the case. Sreeramakrishnan is also set to be interrogated by the customs authorities regarding his alleged involvement in the gold smuggling case. Earlier on January 8, Kerala Assembly Speaker’s assistant was called before the customs officials who were probing the dollar smuggling cases in the state.
Kerala deputy speaker V Sasi chaired the session on Thursday as Sreeramakrishnan sat among legislators as opposition members took up the resolution against him. Kerala speaker Sreeramakrishnan had earlier admitted that he knew main accused Swapna Suresh as an employee of the UAE consulate and participated in functions organised by Suresh.
CPI(M) leader S Sharma said that the allegations against the speaker cannot be taken into consideration as they are based on 'media speculations'.
Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan lashed out at the opposition politicians for moving the resolution against the assembly Speaker. "164 statements given by the accused in gold smuggling case in the court has not come out yet. From all these months, the investigation agency was questioning the accused. How 164 statements given by such accused can be trusted?" Vijayan was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala said that the assembly is a temple of democracy and tainted leaders should not be associated with it. "P Sreeramakrishnan will be the first person to hold Speaker's chair in state's history while being tainted for his association with smugglers. Assembly is temple of democracy. No charges like association with gold smugglers came against any speaker," Chennithala was quoted as saying by news agency ANI
The opposition alleged that Sreeramakrishnan had deeper ties with Suresh. They also raised questions about the Kerala speaker inaugurating a shop of one of the accused in the gold smuggling case. Sreeramakrishnan had inaugurated the shop of Sandeep Nair, accused in the gold smuggling case, months ago.
“I am fully confident that there was no lapse from my side. So I have no anxiety,” the Kerala speaker had said, claiming that he would end his political career if the charges against him are proved.
The Kerala gold smuggling case had come into light after 30 kg gold worth ₹14.82 crore which was being smuggled in diplomatic cargo was found by customs department in Thiruvananthapuram.
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